In a dramatic set of posts on Twitter, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the cessation of peace negotiations with the Taliban. His tweets abruptly seem to have indicated the end, at least for now, to the negotiations conducted by the chief U.S. negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, with the Taliban.

State of negotiations
Mr. Khalilzad had disclosed that he had reached an “in principle” agreement with the Taliban, but the details have not been revealed. The negotiations were over U.S. troop withdrawal from the country and assurances from the Taliban of not letting the country to be used as a safe haven for terrorists targeting the U.S.

Reason for end of talks
Mr. Trump said that a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul on Thursday was the trigger for his sudden decision. However, Taliban has been continually engaging in terrorist attacks. One estimate suggests that it has engaged in 173 terror attacks resulting in 1,339 fatalities in 2019 alone. It is not clear why Mr. Trump chose this moment to call off talks.

State of Afghanistan
Taliban has increased its control over several provinces and the government’s rule prevails only in the north-central parts of the country. A durable peace, with the U.S. seeking early troop withdrawal, is only possible if there are talks between all Afghan groups and other regional stakeholders.

Source: The Hindu